Medical Ethics


May 1999
LC: 98-44647



Medical Ethics
Sources of Catholic Teachings
Third Edition
Kevin D. O'Rourke, OP, and Philip J. Boyle
In a single convenient resource, this book organizes and presents clearly the documents of the Catholic church pertaining to medical ethics. Introductory chapters provide the context for interpreting the Church's teachings and guide the reader in applying the teachings to particular ethical quandaries.

This third edition has been updated to incorporate the statements issued since the preparation of the second edition. The authors have revised the introductory chapters to include ideas from the papal encyclical Splendor Veritatis and "Instruction of the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian," published by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concerning the various levels of the teachings of the Church. Other new statements included in this edition are relevant topics from the papal encyclical Evangelium Vitae (abortion, euthanasia, amniocentesis, suicide and withdrawing life support); the Vatican Congregation of Doctrine and Faith on uterine isolation; the U.S. bishops on the care of anencephalic infants, genetic testing, and cloning; and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on the treatment for rape in Catholic hospitals.
Philip J. Boyle is senior vice president and editor-in-chief of the Park Ridge Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Kevin D. O'Rourke, OP
, is the director of the Center for Health Care Ethics and Professor of Clinical Ethics, Department of Internal Medicine, Saint Louis University.
"A unique and important contribution to the medical ethics literature. . . . Under one cover, O'Rourke and Boyle have assembled excerpts from a variety of ecclesiastical documents that are representative of church teaching on over 50 topics relating to ethics in health care. . . . A handy reference work for anyone who wishes to become informed about Catholic church teaching on issues in health care."—Bulletin of the Park Ridge Center, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"There is no disputing the usefulness of this collection of Catholic teachings on medical ethics . . . The editors are concerned that while many Catholics have internalized moral rules, some remain ignorant of the theological vision which inspires the teaching. This volume seeks to address the deficiency by setting out Catholic moral teaching in its theological context. The book should prove attractive to a wider clientele than health-care workers. It is rare to find a distillation of Catholic teaching collected in one volume in this way. It will be valuable as a reference text for pastors and students of ethics."—Heythrop Journal, reviewing a previous edition or volume